Decorating Outdoor Containers for the Winter
I leave most of my containers outdoors for the winter because I no longer have the time or energy to haul them into the garage or the basement. Keep in mind, however, that if your containers are terra cotta, you will need to invest your energy in such exercise.
Several years ago, I made a conscious decision to buy only freeze proof containers. They are made of concrete, tufa, fiberglass, copper, or plastic and I do not empty them. I do, however, place pot pads under them so moisture will drain, thus preventing excess soil expansion when frozen.
Many of my containers are planted with perennials and ornamental grasses as well as annuals and tropicals. By now, I have either pulled and discarded the annuals and tropicals or I have repotted them for wintering over in my garden room or the basement.
At this time of year, I look for materials that I can use to decorate the containers for winter interest. One of my favorites is branches of red or yellow twig dogwood, sometimes even purple, that can often be found at farmers’ markets. The other favorite is branches of berried plants. Then these colorful materials can be supplemented with cuttings of any evergreen conifer.
Last year I waited too long to decorate. The soil in the containers was frozen. This year, I did my decorating the Monday of Thanksgiving week. If you act quickly, I think you can still push the stems of your decorative branches into the soil. Have fun!